IWMI suggests CDA to make rainwater tanks mandatory for new housing schemes

ISLAMABAD - International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Monday suggested the Capital Development Authority (CDA) make rainwater tanks compulsory for new housing schemes to improve groundwater aquifers in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

This was said in a consultative meeting on ‘demonstration of nature-based solutions for improving the resilience of groundwater aquifers in ICT’.

In the meeting, IWMI country representative Dr Mohsin Hafeez said that for any new housing scheme, the CDA or the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) must include in the construction plans that rain-water storage tanks be made mandatory.

He said Islamabad gets a lot of rain and this rainwater is wasted or becomes the reason for flash or urban flooding, and this has been witnessed during the current monsoon season when posh areas of Islamabad got flooded, causing huge damages to infrastructure and public property.

It’s important to work out nature-based solutions to provide enough water to everyone in capital city

He also said that there is a lot of potential to take advantage of the 1500-millimeter rainfall and if we look now, the rains are turning into flash floods, with less recharge. Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Chairman, Dr Muhammad Ashraf said, “together with IWMI Pakistan and CDA we are doing a water resources assessment of the entire Islamabad for surface water as well as groundwater and identifying research sites.

Based on this assessment we will put together a draft for developing the groundwater and surface water legal framework.

“We are working towards nature-based solutions to provide enough water to everyone in the capital city,” he said.

CDA Member Engineering, Engr Syed Munawar Shah said that the current government encouraged us to work on the idea of finding nature-based solutions and the civic body has developed a PC-1 to overcome the shortage of water in Islamabad. He said CDA aims to establish at least 50 wells initially to capitalise on the winter rains and the remaining wells we want to complete by 30 June 2022 so we can catch the next monsoon rains.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on CDA Affairs, Ali Nawaz Awan said that water is a very technical issue, and he has been advocating for this fundamental right since I was in the opposition.

He said we never imagined that Islamabad would face the non-availability of water, but sectors such as G-10, G-11, I-10, G-13, etc are facing extreme water shortage crisis.

He maintained mega projects have been started in collaboration with FWO to bring 100 mgd water from Ghazi Brotha dam for Islamabad, and while this is a long-term initiative and will take time, we have worked on efficient water management as a short-term measure, said Ali Nawaz Awan.


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